Monday, October 11, 2010

European Prides Diary: 9th Slovak LGBT Film Festival 2

Clare Dimyon MBE is doing a travelogue of her latest European tour. Here is an account of her travels in Slovokia. Previous entries can be found here.

30 Sept 2010: Slovak LGBT Film Festival – you could feel proud or very humble indeed

After a lazy morning catching up on some zeds at Pension NOVA, Bratislava’s first gay hotel a ten minute tram ride takes me to the centre where LGBT are already gathering. Sure enough, a rainbow flag has gone up, hanging over the balcony at the front of VSMU, the Faculty of Music & Arts. The lobby is full and I greet old friends from 2009 and newer friends from Dúhový PRIDE last May. I feel totally at home in a recognisably LGBT environment with recognisable “types” chatting away in Slovak. I am left reflecting on the universality of our “tribe” and the universality of our experience within our different national and ethnic groups.

In C&E Europe, film festivals are a classic vehicle for LGBT gatherings even before PRIDE, the darkened rooms providing an ideal privacy for those who are not yet confident enough to be “out” even with other LGBT people. Just like Budapest PRIDE the Slovak Film Festival is an embarrassment of riches of films from around the world. The screen is arranged with a blank space at the bottom, this is for the Slovak sub-titles, separately projected often under the English sub-titles embedded in the film. I meet any number of C&E Europeans whose English is almost flawless, barely accented but there are plenty whose English is halting and plenty whose English is non-existent. Herein lies a burden unknown to LGBT in the English speaking world, the patient translation line by line of the script. In the corner is a woman hunched over a laptop, explaining that this is the film scheduled for tomorrow night, which only arrived yesterday! Another runs up to me and rather excitedly explains she translated me in my tiny walk on part in Beyond Gay, which will be screened tomorrow. Another woman laughs as she explains that she struggled to catch the Slovak sub-titles up with the film because there were differences in script between the version that had been translated and the version that was being shown so that it was completely out of sync. All the translation, all the additional work in projecting the sub-titles is voluntary effort by LGBT donating their skills and expertise to make LGBT culture accessible to LGBT compatriots who lack those languages. I could say “it makes me proud” but in fact as an English speaking lesbian, it makes me feel very humble indeed.

Best wishes

No comments: